En flott anmeldelse i det engelske musikkbladet Uncut!
og et intervju om «the Norwegian invasion» i Clash.
Her er et utdrag:
«Of course, success in the UK comes with a caveat – that is, to make it in the mono-lingual British market, you must sing in English. Successful Norwegian artists such as Ana Garbarak, Silje Nes, Susanna Wallumrød , Hukkelberg and Hval all record predominantly in English. Cue the arrival of Siri Nilsen, alt-folk artist who refuses to bend to this convention and whose last album was recorded almost entirely in Norwegian:
“When I was younger, I missed being able to hear music from my own time in my own language, so it felt natural for me to start writing my songs in Norwegian. I feel that I can express more nuances in the language I use in my everyday life. Some people might say that Norwegian is not a very musical language, but I think that’s an advantage, as it lets me concentrate more on the meaning of the words rather than on the sounds themselves. I think each language has its own way of being poetic. And I think Norwegian is very beautiful in its own way.”
Despite awed reviews from those sections of the British press brave enough to take on the album, Alle Snakker Sant (‘They All Speak The Truth’), Nilsen is pragmatic about finding success outside of Norway: “There are still a few more people speaking English than Norwegian in the world, oddly enough! But I’ve been surprised to see interest from all corners of the world, though, so maybe it’s not impossible to have an audience outside of Norway.”
For Nilsen, it is a particular combination of the environmental and the social that is responsible for the recent burst of creativity in her native land: “We have long, dark, cold winters, so either you get depressed or you write songs – or both. And a lot of people go out to concerts to listen to live music. We have a very high ratio of concerts in relation to our small population…the scene is very diverse. I do think there’s a sense of young Norwegian musicians forming a new identity now, being more confident in their own voice and style. There’s a lot happening.”
There certainly is, and one of the striking things about what’s happening, from a British perspective, is how it seems to be spearheaded by women. Is this true?
“There are many interesting male musicians as well! Like Jens Carelius, Kråkesølv, Jarle Bernhoft, Lidolido and so on. But it might be a reaction to a long period of time when there were very few women appearing as solo artists in Norway. I know that I missed music to identify with when I was younger, and that’s why I started to write my own. Probably other Norwegian women did as well.”
Interesting times indeed. It seems that a growing avant-garde scene in Norway and burgeoning confidence among female artists has dovetailed with a growing appetite in the UK for music that isn’t ‘easy’ or instantly accessible. Having grown accustomed to hearing music entirely in English, it might be time to realise just how much we’re missing out on. Perhaps we Brits are finally ready to be invaded.
Words by Theresa Heath»